It is common for people to come to Colorado and other parts of the United States from other countries. Immigrants make up a considerable amount of the population, and you may be among the many individuals who have come to the country, built a life and obtained permanent residency.
Though permanent residency has suited you for some time, you may now consider becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. Numerous people who come to the U.S. share this goal, and those who reach it often feel proud to have the ability to call themselves citizens. Still, you may wonder what a change in status could offer you.
Oath of Allegiance
After completing all the prior steps in the naturalization process, you will become a U.S. citizen after you take the Oath of Allegiance. This oath places some responsibilities on you as a citizen as it requires you to make several promises to the United States, which include:
- Swearing allegiance to the United States
- Giving up allegiances to any other country or sovereignty
- Serving the United States when necessary
- Supporting and defending the U.S. Constitution and other laws
In addition to those mentioned in the Oath of Allegiance, citizens have additional responsibilities, such as serving on a jury, participating in the political process and tolerating differences among people, namely those differences associated with ethnic groups, religions and cultures.
While permanent residency may allow you to live permanently in the United States legally, it does not offer many of the benefits that holding citizenship does. For example, obtaining citizenship can allow you the following opportunities:
- Voting ability
- Traveling with a U.S. passport
- Bringing family from other countries to the United States
- Obtaining eligibility for Federal employment
- Ensuring citizenship for your children born outside the United States
Of course, you could also obtain many other benefits of citizenship that go beyond the few examples listed here.
If you are interested in adjusting your status to become a naturalized citizen, you will have a long road ahead. Fortunately, you do not have to travel that road alone. An experienced immigration law attorney could help you gain more information on the expectations of citizenship and on the steps of the naturalization process as well as assist you in completing those steps correctly when the time comes.